Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Adams worried about latest influx

Tony Adams believes young English players are being held back due to the number of foreign players

Concerns over the Premier League's reliance on overseas players have heightened after it emerged that 90 per cent of spending during the summer transfer window was on foreign stars.

Analysts Deloitte say that of the record-breaking total of £630million, £570million was spent on foreign players.

And former England captain Tony Adams believes that the high number of imports in the English top flight can only have a detrimental effect on the national team.

He told Zapsportz.com: "I used to think that top-class foreign talent would have a positive effect on our young English players, that they would improve rubbing shoulders with them.

"However, the reverse has become true, it has had an adverse effect. Buying up all this foreign talent is like buying the England team a ticket to oblivion.

"Unfortunately the young English talent has not come through and I'm worrying that they have become swamped by the sheer volume of foreign imports."

Premier League clubs may have eclipsed their European rivals in terms of spending during the transfer window but the top divisions in both Spain and Italy made an overall surplus from player trading.

In Spain and Italy the total spent was £335million in each league but both La Liga (£95million) and Serie A (£10million) generated net surpluses despite Gareth Bale's world record 100million euro (£85.3million) transfer to Real Madrid.

In Germany's Bundesliga, the net spend was only £50million compared to £400million in England.

The advent of UEFA's financial fair play measures, plus economic difficulties in those countries, appear to have contributed to a more prudent approach.

Alex Thorpe, consultant in Deloitte's sports business group, said each Premier League club was benefiting from a share of an extra £600million of TV revenues this season alone after the negotiation of huge new broadcasting contracts.

Thorpe said: "Whereas many clubs around Europe have been reliant on selling players in order to spend, the financial advantages Premier League clubs enjoy has enabled net spending of £400million across the league.

"Many clubs, including new entrants to the league, have successfully competed in the European transfer market to attract high-profile foreign talent."

The four English clubs competing in this season's Champions League - Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United - accounted for £230million, 37 per cent of the total.

With Tottenham having spent more than £100million, it means the leading five clubs last season made up more than half of all spending.

Top-flight clubs spent around £140million on deadline day - including Mesut Ozil's move to Arsenal for £42.4million and Marouane Fellaini's transfer to Manchester United for £27.5million - compared to £110million the same day last year.

All 20 Premier League clubs had already played three games before Monday's final spending spree and Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor believes having the window open after the start of the season can disrupt players.

Fellaini's transfer along with those of Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku were just some of the deals that went right down to the wire, and Taylor told Zapsportz.com: "Having the window open after the season starts makes big headlines, news in the papers, talking points in the pubs, but it is creating problems and unsettling players.

"It is also unsettling for teams who have already started their season, and we can all see how this is affecting big clubs like Spurs, Chelsea and Manchester United."

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